Hacking a digital tape measure?

I'm involved in a project where the perfect, cheap transducers would be some of the new digital tape measures...if they can be
hacked for an electrical (quadrature?) output. Some corrent ones for sale (sorry about the word wrap):
(Amazon.com product link shortened)- Tape/dp/B000037X0V
(Amazon.com product link shortened)- Measure/dp/B00002254Y/ref=pd_sbs_hi_1/002-3795157-3628009
http://www.brandsonsale.com/ht-001684.html
http://www.coleparmer.com/catalog/product_view.asp?sku 24150
Has anyone tried this?
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